Doom and Gloom for Dropbox and Box?


If you have been anywhere near twitter the past week, you’ve seen the article from ZDNet asking Can Dropbox and Box survive as independent services? The author, Ed Bott, then goes into the pricing competition for storage and how both services are falling way behind the curve to Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

Ed misses the point. This isn’t about storage. Not anymore. It is also about convenience. How well can you synch across all your devices with products from the big three? How well do those products work with other applications on your mobile devices?

Even more importantly, how well do those applications serve the enterprise?

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Box v Dropbox v Everyone


While I was at Alfresco, I made a point of ignoring the competition. I always believe that if you can’t win without saying something negative, don’t bother. On the flip side, I didn’t want to draw extra attention to the competition.

Don’t have any of those issues now.

Even though I was quiet, new things still happened. Recently both Box and Dropbox have been making some announcements. While I am not going to go into the details, plenty of people have done that already, I’m going to talk about why any of it matters.

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What Constitutes Industry Leadership?


File:Aston Martin DBS V12 coupé (front left) b-w.jpgOne of the debates that I have often had with other Information Professionals is the question, Who are the “Leaders” in our industry? This was always up for a good debate because we could never agree on the basic ground rules:

  • What role does the technology play?
  • Do you measure by sales or install base?
  • Do we care what Gartner, Forrester, or others say on the topic?
  • What players are even in our industry?

With all these open questions, it is a debate that usually lasts until someone gets fed up and forces a topic change upon the group by asking, Who is buying the next round?

This is a question that is important for me to address and I thought I would open it up for discussion.

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Box Defends Against Office 365


In case you missed it, Box introduced some new pricing last week. While the details are not relevant right now, the key detail was that if you have only 10 people, your price per user is now $5. This is great if you are a small shop because you don’t need as many features and you do need secure sharing.

So why bring Office 365 into this? Because this new price range is same as the Office 365 Small Business tier. Sure you can get more with Office 365, but Box still has that “easy to use” feature going for it.

Still, why Office 365? Because Office 365 is great for small shops. It bundles email with SharePoint and Lync. For a organizations with minimal to no infrastructure, it is a very quick setup and before you know it, you have your basic productivity tools.

I suspect that Box is looking at Microsoft as the big Gorilla in the corner. If they aren’t then they should be doing that. Microsoft has a decent cloud solution and a ton of money. It should be possible to fix SkyDrive, make an interface that works on Apple, and market to the same people that Box targets.

Box used to market against SharePoint to get attention. Now they need to work against them to make sure they stay safe.

Box Isn’t Disrupting Because of the Cloud


I recently realized this truth which seems both contradictory and obvious at the same time. Box and the other cloud vendors aren’t disrupting the industry because they are Cloud/Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) vendors, they are disrupting it because they put people ahead of the Enterprise.

Think on it a minute. I talked about this in my AIIM keynote but I didn’t link it all together. SaaS may be the disruptive technology but it is the ease-of-use built into the applications themselves that is giving them market share.

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2012, The Year that Wasn’t


Photo by laffy4k of FlikrI don’t know if this was a result of leaving the consulting world or a side effect of not having made any predictions for 2012, but this year appeared to be a very non-newsworthy year in Content Management. Oh, things happened, but nothing big.

I didn’t realize it until Ron Miller asked me what I thought the biggest story was this year. I couldn’t think of a story that was “big”. I could wade through a bunch of small stories and pick the “biggest”, but that wasn’t what he was looking to learn.

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Yammer and Microsoft, a Win for Both Sides


There is going to be no shortage of analysis of Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer. I’m not going to take time to parse it all. I do want to share some quick thoughts on the acquisition while everything is still fresh on my mind and the deal seems more likely to be completed.

Yammer Cashing Out

Yammer was one of the pioneers in the the Enterprise 2.0/Social Business space. The issue that over the years as the space has evolved, the amount of evolution coming from Yammer has been limited. Their product has gotten better but they remain, at their core, a micro blogging service.

imageThe space has been moving on though. People have been learning that all these Social Business tools work best when they are part of the business process, not when they are on their own. With Yammer, you may produce less email and generate greater visibility into what people are doing in the organization, but you also have a new inbox to check. It is just one more window to keep open.

Let’s face it. Chatter turned SalesForce into a social platform. Yammer has been stuck in tool mode.

Yammer was facing a stiff uphill battle to remain relevant over the next several years. They seem to have been heading in the right direction, but there were a lot of questions about whether or not they could evolve fast enough to keep up.

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Thinking on the Future of Content Management


I’m sitting here reflecting upon a very productive Gilbane Conference in Boston this week.  It was good to talk to people and see what people were thinking about in the Content Management industry. Engagement, Search, and Social were big, overlapping themes in the conference.

I was at Gilbane in order present my view on the future of Content Management.  I thought I would share the slides here and talk a little about the recent research on the same topic from AIIM.

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The ECM Magic Quadrant, The 2010 Edition


imageSo Gartner released the new Magic Quadrant last week.

Um…..

I’m a little torn here.  It is an important piece of research and of value and all that, but…

  • Those in the Leaders quadrant frequently aren’t leading.
  • Too many people look at the report and research the market no further.
  • Enterprise Content Management cannot be bought.  It is a strategy.  I can buy a Content Management platform or suite that supports my ECM strategy, but I cannot buy ECM.

Of course, it is full of useful/interesting facts, so let’s dive into it…[download a copy from Hyland Software.]

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CMIS has Arrived, Demo Anyone?


The news today?  CMIS is now an official standard! I’m pretty stoked about the whole thing.  When I started this blog, after I got through my initial list of topics, it was the desire for a SOA-based standard for ECM that provided the desire.  Now that my desire has been met, almost three years later, what will I do for inspiration?

Simple, push for CMIS 2.0! In all seriousness, that is a post for another day. I want to focus on the actual release of the standard and the Demo where you can see it in action.

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